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review 2018-01-16 02:19
Paris for One and Other Stories ★☆☆☆☆
Paris for One and Other Stories - Jojo Moyes

Et tu, Jojo?

 

I've found books by Moyes to be light escapist romance-ish fiction, always good for lifting my spirits. So imagine my sense of betrayal to find that she's jumped on the First Person Present Tense bandwagon. 

 

Just say "no", Jojo. Please. 

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review 2018-01-16 00:41
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women - Kate Moore

The first thing I did after finishing this book was text a note to my brother, a worker's comp attorney, thanking him for what he does.  The second thing I am going to do is recommend this to everyone I know.  One caveat, if you're going to read this book, you need a strong stomach.  What happened to these women is bad enough physically, and the author doesn't pretty up her descriptions.  More horrific is what was done to these women in the name of profit.

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review 2018-01-09 15:10
The Child ★★★★☆
The Child - Fiona Barton,Mandy Williams,Rosalyn Landor,Jean Gilpin,Various

An infant's skeleton is found buried in the back garden of a house being demolished. The story follows several women who have an interest in the mystery of the baby's identity and the circumstances that led to its burial: A still-grieving mother whose baby was snatched from the hospital's maternity ward; a troubled woman with a history of psychiatric problems who once lived in the house where the infant was buried; her mother with whom she still has a rocky relationship; an investigative reporter who is determined to solve the mystery and break the story. 

 

The mystery is not entirely predictable, but I was really more interested in the characters as they were revealed. The only real clunker in this story is really unlikely plot twist where

a rookie reporter finds out a key piece of information about forensics on Wikipedia that neither the forensic lab nor the police had even considered.

(spoiler show)

Even I had that figured out well in advance. 

 

Still, the story was compelling, and the characters well drawn, and the writing is good enough that I didn't really notice that one character's POV was written in the dreaded First-Person-Present-Tense until I was most of the way through the book. 

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library, with an excellent performance by a cast of several. 

 

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review 2018-01-08 19:50
The Lump of Coal ★★★★★
The Lump of Coal (Audio) - Lemony Snicket,Neil Patrick Harris,Brett Helquist

An adorable anthropomorphic lump of coal goes on a journey to find his destiny. Loved it.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive, with an excellent reading by Neil Patrick Harris, as if he could do anything but provide an outstanding performance of a Lemony Snicket story.

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review 2018-01-08 19:45
Seeking Sarah ★☆☆☆☆
Seeking Sarah: A Novel - ReShonda Tate Billingsley

After a full hour of listening to this soap opera-ish story, I still know almost nothing about the main character who is telling this story. We hear all about what happens to her and what she says and what annoys her. And she’s annoyed A LOT. But this… mystery? I guess? is almost entirely plot driven, spending all its time on setting up the story’s big events. Then the stupidly unrealistic medical drama happened, and I simply lost patience with this story. DNF @14%.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Janina Edwards does a fine job on the performance but is unable to rescue the source material.

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